PC for general use & photo work

Slynx

Active Member
This is a system that I'm considering building myself to replace a 7 year old PC I'm using at present.

The components I'm not totally sure about are the motherboard and power supply.

Does anyone have any comments on the components I've selected ?

I'm going to buy from Novatech, as they are close by and I'm not going to worry about 'possibly' buying components cheaper elsewhere. (also easier for returns, should it be necessary)

Your views (as always) are appreciated.


Antec Three Hundred Case - Black - No Psu £51.05

OCZ StealthXStream2 600w Silent ATX2 Power Supply 80PLUS £44.24

Asus M4A88T-V EVO AMD 880G (Socket AM3) Motherboard £63.82

AMD Quad Core Phenom II X4 965 125 Watt!! Black Edition 3.4GHz Socket AM 3 - Retail £114.88

Novatech ATI Radeon 5770 1024MB GDDR5 VGA/DVI/HDMI PCI-Express Graphics Card - Retail £87.65

Samsung Spin Point F3 SATAII 1TB 32MB Cache Hard Drive <8.9ms 7200rpm - OEM £37.43

Corsair XMS3 TwinX 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 PC3-10666C9 1333MHz Dual Channel Kit £46.80

Pioneer DVR-S18LBK LabelFlash 22x DVD+/-RW 12x Dual Layer DVD-RAM SATA Black - Retail Kit with Nero Writing Software £15.31

Novatech Internal All-in-One Card Reader - Black, Fits 3.5" Bay £8.50
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
The power supply is far more than you need, unless you're planning extensive additions or upgrades in the future. 450W would be more appropriate (it'll only save you £5-10 or so, but it should also be a couple of percent more energy efficient with less idle capacity).

From the quad core and mid-range graphics card it looks like gaming is part of your general use. If it's not then you might want to go up to the hexa core Phenom X6 1055T for another £15 and drop the graphics card down to something more modest (or just use the onboard graphics) as a lot of photo editing programs don't use the graphics card processor much or at all.
 

Slynx

Active Member
The power supply is far more than you need, unless you're planning extensive additions or upgrades in the future. 450W would be more appropriate (it'll only save you £5-10 or so, but it should also be a couple of percent more energy efficient with less idle capacity).

From the quad core and mid-range graphics card it looks like gaming is part of your general use. If it's not then you might want to go up to the hexa core Phenom X6 1055T for another £15 and drop the graphics card down to something more modest (or just use the onboard graphics) as a lot of photo editing programs don't use the graphics card processor much or at all.
I've amended the above as follows:

I don't really do gaming, so have deleted the graphics card and changed the motherboard to one which has onboard graphics, and also dropped the power supply to 500w.
Would the 6 core be a worthwhile upgrade over the 4 core?
Also, at a later date, if I needed more grunt from the graphics, I could add a dedicated card to this board ?


Antec Three Hundred Case - Black - No Psu £51.05

OCZ StealthXStream2 500w Silent ATX2 Power Supply 80PLUS £39.14

Asus M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 AMD 880G (Socket AM3) ATX DDR3 Motherboard
£76.58

AMD Quad Core Phenom II X4 965 125 Watt!! Black Edition 3.4GHz Socket AM 3 - Retail £114.88

Alternative to the above:
(AMD Phenom II X6 1055T Six Core 2.8GHz Socket AM3 - Retail £121.69)

Samsung Spin Point F3 SATAII 1TB 32MB Cache Hard Drive <8.9ms 7200rpm - OEM £37.43

Corsair XMS3 TwinX 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 PC3-10666C9 1333MHz Dual Channel Kit £46.80

Pioneer DVR-S18LBK LabelFlash 22x DVD+/-RW 12x Dual Layer DVD-RAM SATA Black - Retail Kit with Nero Writing Software £15.31

Novatech Internal All-in-One Card Reader - Black, Fits 3.5" Bay £8.50
 
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EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
I don't really do gaming, so have deleted the graphics card and changed the motherboard to one which has onboard graphics, and also dropped the power supply to 500w.
Would the 6 core be a worthwhile upgrade over the 4 core?
Also, at a later date, if I needed more grunt from the graphics, I could add a dedicated card to this board ?
Didn't the previous motherboard have onboard graphics? From the specs you've posted it looks like it uses the same chipset (880G) so I'd have thought it would have.

Any motherboard with a PCI-E 16x slot will accept a graphics card and there are virtually no motherboards without one.

How many cores you can take advantage of and how well they scale depends on the specific program you're using and what that supports. In general imaging seems very happy to use lots of cores and gets a big boost in performance.
 

Slynx

Active Member
Didn't the previous motherboard have onboard graphics? From the specs you've posted it looks like it uses the same chipset (880G) so I'd have thought it would have..
Sorry, yes you're quite correct - the reason I swapped out the m/b is that the second one listed is USB 3 compliant (not sure, however, if it is necessary ??)

So really, it looks like the only thing left to decide on is the 'preferred' m/b and processor ??
 
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EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
Sorry, yes you're quite correct - the reason I swapped out the m/b is that the second one listed is USB 3 compliant (not sure, however, if it is necessary ??)

So really, it looks like the only thing left to decide on is the 'preferred' m/b and processor ??
USB 3 is nice to have, but it won't make any difference until your current devices die and are replaced by ones that have USB 3 support.

The only other thing you haven't mentioned is an operating system.
 

Slynx

Active Member
USB 3 is nice to have, but it won't make any difference until your current devices die and are replaced by ones that have USB 3 support.

The only other thing you haven't mentioned is an operating system.
I will be installing Windows 7 Ultimate retail version which I already have.

If it's just a case of USB 3 being 'nice to have' for future peripherals, then I might as well purchase that particular m/b, even if it's just to 'future proof' for any purchase later on. I don't tend to upgrade major components over a PC's lifespan anyway. (it's only another +/- £20.00 anyway).

The only thing left to decide on then is which processor (4 core or 6 core ??) Again, there is only £20.00 - 30.00 difference between the two. Having said that, if it's not worthwhile spending the extra, then I won't.

By the way, thanks for your help so far.:)
 
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EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
Having said that, if it's not worthwhile spending the extra, then I won't.
Like I said, ultimately it's down to the specific applications you're using and if/when they'll support six cores.

The performance boost when it is supported is often around 20-30% and more applications should be supporting it in the future (as more cores is the way all CPUs are going).

Power consumption between the two is very similar.
 

ManuB

Member
Aren't there any other CPU's available from AMD with 95W because 125W is going to produce some serious heat for such a small system.
 

ManuB

Member
Sorry, my bad, I was thinking of another one. :facepalm:
 

Slynx

Active Member
Final choice selected and ordered from Novatech:


Antec 300 case

Asus M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 AMD 880G (Socket AM3) ATX DDR3 Motherboard

AMD Quad Core Phenom II X 4 965 125W Black edition 3.4GHz Socket AM3 Retail

OCZ ModXStream Pro 500W Silent SLI Ready ATX2 Modular Power Supply

Corsair XMS3 TwinX 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 PC3 10666C9 1333MHz Dual Channel Kit

Samsung Spin Point F3 SATA II 1TB 32MB Cache Hard Drive <8.9ms 7200RPM-OEM

Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro Rev 2 CPU Cooler

Pioneer DVR-S18LBK Labelflash 22xDVD+/-RW12x Dual Layer DVD-Ram Sata Black-Retail Kit with Nero Writing Software

Novatech Internal All-in-One Card Reader Black-fits 3.5" Bay


All in price including VAT £451.00
 

Slynx

Active Member
Ref the above build:

There are 2 power connecters (1 x 4 pin & 1 x 8 pin) that come out of the power supply. (CPU power?)

Which connector do I use for the m/b ?

There is an 8 pin socket at the top left hand side of the m/b (CPU power?) ,however, there is a blanking plug covering the lower 4 pins (this plug does lift out easily)

Do I use the 4 pin plug or do I remove the blanking plug and use the 8 pin plug ?

The instructions for the m/b & power supply do not actually tell me which to use.
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
I suspect it'll work with both but if you've got an 8-pin EPS12V CPU connector and as the motherboard lists it as 8-pin then I'd go ahead and plug that one in.
 

Slynx

Active Member
I suspect it'll work with both but if you've got an 8-pin EPS12V CPU connector and as the motherboard lists it as 8-pin then I'd go ahead and plug that one in.
O.K. Well, that problem is sorted.
The only reason that the four lower pins have a removeable plug, is in case you are using a 4 pin only power supply.
If you have an 8 pin power supply, remove lower plug and plug in the 8 pin.
Simples - when you know.
 

Slynx

Active Member
Perhaps someone can help here.

I've been trying to load the drivers from the disc supplied with the m/b to no avail.

According to Overclockersclub review of this board, once the disc is inserted into the drive, 'autorun' should load the drivers and whatever else is required.
See: Review Image » ASUS M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 Motherboard Review - Overclockers Club

What I'm getting is this type of stuff.
See: Review Image » ASUS M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 Motherboard Review - Overclockers Club

I'm afraid that my knowledge stops at anything to with bios's etc.

Can anyone help??
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
If I can't load drivers or operating system, how do I connect to the internet ??
Drivers are only used by the operating system, as you were trying to install them I assumed the OS was already up and running. If it's not then at least we've solved why they're not installing ;). What's the problem with loading the OS?
 

Slynx

Active Member
Drivers are only used by the operating system, as you were trying to install them I assumed the OS was already up and running. If it's not then at least we've solved why they're not installing ;). What's the problem with loading the OS?
Errr..........what a d**khead I am !!:(

Yes, it does help to install the operating system BEFORE loading drivers !!:confused:

Anyway, all's well now as I'm typing from the new PC. I have to say that there is a marked difference in speed, and I can't believe how quiet it is.

I also changed the standard card reader to an Akasa Allinone Fan Controller/card reader. http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/prods/components/cooling/fancontrollers/AK-ALL-02BK.html
Very snazzy piece of kit and something a bit different. Seems to work well.

Thanks for your help Endless, it's appreciated.
 
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Everything is fine, but I would consider adding more ram - Photoshop and Lightroom can be ram hungry bitches at times, so 6gb+ would be advisable for the sake of being able to actually do multiple things, and even have music on in the background.

Errr..........what a d**khead I am !!:(

Yes, it does help to install the operating system BEFORE loading drivers !!:confused:

Anyway, all's well now as I'm typing from the new PC. I have to say that there is a marked difference in speed, and I can't believe how quiet it is.

I also changed the standard card reader to an Akasa Allinone Fan Controller/card reader. http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/prods/components/cooling/fancontrollers/AK-ALL-02BK.html
Very snazzy piece of kit and something a bit different. Seems to work well.

Thanks for your help Endless, it's appreciated.
One of the things that W7 is exceptional it, is a pretty comprehensive generic driver database, which should get your system off the ground - and automatic updates tends to have the updated drivers ready as a package from the manufacturer, ready for you to install with anything else microsoft has released as a patch from the day your disk was printed. So in theory, you shouldn't even need the disk or need to go to the site.
 
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Slynx

Active Member
Ref this system - I have installed the old hard drive out of my old PC.
The question is - how do I transfer certain info off the old hard drive and install on the new hard drive ?
The main things are e-mails and photos.
I've been fiddling around all afternoon, and I can't do it. Probably very simple.
Anyone help ??
 
Ref this system - I have installed the old hard drive out of my old PC.
The question is - how do I transfer certain info off the old hard drive and install on the new hard drive ?
The main things are e-mails and photos.
I've been fiddling around all afternoon, and I can't do it. Probably very simple.
Anyone help ??
The easiest way of doing all of that, is probably to use the in built transfer wizard with Windows 7...But I'm assuming at this stage it's a bit late in the day, as it sounds like you've already ripped it apart :laugh:

Thunderbird is usually an XML file in your appdata folder in your profile I believe. Outlook is a .pst file you can run a search on and find (it should also be located iin appdata, but for the sake of backing up, I keep it in my docs folder - and I couldn't tell you with windows mail.

As for pictures and docs, they should be in your pictures and documents folders.
 

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